Election Commission on Friday announced that it will hold a live demonstration of electronic voting machines (EVMs) and voter-verifiable paper audit trail (VVPAT) machines in New Delhi on Saturday. The EC will also hold a press conference on the ‘EVM’ challenge.
With several opposition parties urging the EC to revert to ballot paper system, the election body has thrown a challenge to political parties to prove that EVMs used in the recent assembly polls were tampered. The planned challenge could take place later this month.
The Election Commission officials were also summoned by the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Personnel, Public Grievances, Law and Justice headed by Congress leader Anand Sharma on Friday over the issue of electoral reforms.
The panel had summoned senior officials from EC, including a deputy election commissioner and a principal secretary, and secretary from legislative department, Law Ministry to appear before it and brief the members about the EVMs and the reliability, a source in the committee said.
Last week, after a meeting with 55 national and state parties, Chief Election Commissioner Nasim Zaidi had said that in all future elections they will use EVMs with voter-verifiable paper audit trail (VVPAT).
The poll panel announced a hackathon, which will offer the parties an opportunity to prove that voting machines used in the recent polls were tampered with.
Amid concerns raised by the opposition, the Union Cabinet last month cleared the Election Commission’s proposal to buy VVPAT machines for the EVMs to ensure transparency in the voting process.
The proposal involves getting 16,15,000 VVPAT units for EVMs at a cost of around Rs 3,173.47 crore for use in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.